Most dog allergy sites and general internet information likes to keep pointing to food allergies in dogs because its popular and sells clients dog food- even though it is relatively rarely the cause of dog allergies.
In a novel approach to dog food allergies, I will critic one of the more popular site’s assertions.
Why feed your dog hypo allergic dog food?
If your dog has not been officially diagnosed with a food allergy, and it has not had an elimination diet to confirm it, then you are wasting your time and money.
A hypo allergic dog food just contains ingredients that your dog has likely not eaten before and guesses that this will not trigger an allergy. Dogs are not necessarily allergic to meats or grains, but a dog can be allergic to a specific protein in any food type. If you dont know which protein, all you are doing is feeding your dog some expensive pellets and not diagnosing the real cause.
It is possible that grain overload on top of a skin allergy, can worsen a dog skin allergy causing more itching, but grain or meat in of itself is not often the cause.
The three dog diets to help with food allergies
- Homemade dog food
- Manufactured dog food Novel Protein
- Manufactured dog food Hydrolyzed Protein
Home made diets are great for dogs but probably not in the way you are thinking.
I come across many people telling me proudly about their home made concoctions. The reason that people really interested in their dogs health feed their dogs a meat based diet, is that it is natural and complete for the dog. I do this AND the main compromise is feeding 1 adult multivitamin too just in case the food stock fed to the cattle or poultry has been from over farmed lands where the soil has lost much of its natural minerals. I did this on a vet recommendation.
If you feed your dog homemade food and meat is 25% of the food, then congratulations, you are doing the same reprehensibly thing that dog food manufacturers do to save money. Dogs have never needed carbs, and adding pasta, rice, wheat or any other bulking agent is about money, not health.
The reason that most people who care for their dog don’t give it a home made preparation when they are trying to overcome a ‘possible’ food allergy is that they weren’t raw or home feeding before the allergy. Home-made food that is correctly or incorrectly put together takes time and effort and sometimes more money than high end dog pellets. People are notoriously short of time in this age, so getting them to research what real dog food should be, and getting them to do it every night is a long shot.
Another reason people like feeding their dogs TRUE raw meat diets (including offal and bones) is that many dog food manufacturers use parts of the animal that a dog of wolf would rarely eat, to both boost the volume of the food, to reduce waste and to decrease their costs. NONE of that is aimed at improving the dogs health. If you feed your dog meat and offal that are human grade, you know exactly what they are eating, in many dog foods you buy you can find: hooves, feathers, or beaks – these things also have the potential to cause an allergic reaction in your dog.
While dog food makers will try and convince you that meat is usually the reason for dog allergy reactions, it is often the kinds of things that humans get allergies to, the NON meat foods such as: corn, wheat, rice, soy, eggs, milk, yeast, potato, and beets.